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To what end? I do believe the members of our three branches of government have become so detached from the people in this nation and from the oaths they took to serve their constituents for the good of the country as a whole. They've lost focus on their responsibilities as elected officials to serve and serve only their own best interests. That's been so proven in the last ten years. If my memory serves me correctly, the youngsters in my kindergarten class solved problems and got along better than our present legislature. I would suggest they all re-read the classic book, "All I Needed to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten." And, our Executive Branch might review, "It Was Already on Fire When I Lay Down On It", both written by Robert Fulghum. Again, profundity found in simplicity!

There are readers here that strongly disagree with me and others who just as strongly agree, yet we've had many discussions and not once have we had less than a civil exchange. I cannot recall a time anyone was called a degrading name or accused of not caring about America. Could we maintain that level of civility in an elected position? I think we could. Some of the charges thrown back and forth in Washington are down right ludicrous. And the cable media eggs it on. I've heard with my own ears, first a news clip and then a pundit spinning that same clip to their own favor. They do it with a slight word change that gives the statement a whole new connotation. Do they think that is what the masses hear? Do they? Are we as gullible as the politicians and the pundits see us to be? I think a good many extremists out here, in fact, are. Much of the populous are just as self-serving. How many of us take time to research and look at what is best for ALL of the country? Is there fairness and equity in how we are ALL treated? Why was it wrong to subsidize an automobile maker but not wrong to subsidize farmers who are being paid NOT to grow things? There are so many examples that are questionable.  

Tonight is the deadline for the passing of an agreement in order for the house to vote on a 2010, (yes I said 2010) Budget Friday to avoid a government shutdown. Rather than do their job, congress has been kicking this can down the road and haven't even addressed the 2011 Budget yet! This topic has been going on for the last two years, this budget thing. The Democrats were too wimpy to use their majority before the midterms and the Republicans act all holier than thou when it was clearly the policies of the last eight years that got this mess rolling.  

President Clinton, BJ's aside, did leave us with a balanced budget and a low unemployment rate. The economy was finally growing again! Before the Bush tax cuts, jobs were increasing and the deficit was manageable, the budget approved. Since the Bush tax cuts, jobs have been consistently lost, deficits have steadily climbed, and cost of healthcare has spiraled leading to the biggest recession since the thirties.  

Yet, we are told that these tax cuts will help 'grow' the economy! My question is when? While the working class slowly withers on the vine and the ratio of people living in poverty grows, these tax cuts are put in a gilded lock box protecting the billionaires and corporations like General Electric that paid no income tax on 14.2 billion dollars of profit. That doesn't compute for me. Even if they reinvested half of that into alternative energy and stockholder dividends, couldn't they be responsible for taxes on at least a few billion to thank their consumers?

Today, they are holding a recall election in Wisconsin. I do believe it will be the first of many and I'm eager to hear the results. The people in Wisconsin and Ohio, especially, stood strong together. Now police and firemen are coming out more and more each day nationwide to show their solidarity for the worker's right to collectively bargain. If this recall election goes in favor of the workers, change may be on the horizon after all. It will have to come from the people.

When it first surfaced that the lunatic in Florida did, in reality, go forward with his plan to burn a book, the military and intelligence asked network media to refrain from giving it airtime as the nut thrived on publicity. Once that got out two weeks after the fact, cable media went into overdrive! Even Chris Matthews, who I usually do like, devoted the first half of his show to this insanity. Twenty human lives have been lost because this enraged the Afghans in Kabul. They've vowed to take revenge and the target was UN workers.  

Yet, here we are after ten years of the killing of our soldiers and countless billions of borrowed money; we still continue to play games with Karzai. Why? Hatred for American intervention will never go away. The killing will never stop. We need to bring our soldiers home from that useless war. We need to bring all left in Iraq home, and we need to think very hard about Libya and the rest of the Middle East. These are all tribal countries and the wars within them are civil wars. They've been going on for millennia!

If the trillions spent there, including Viet Nam, over the decades had been applied to alternative energy and infrastructure at home, we wouldn't be in a place of depending on China and we wouldn't have massive deficits. Everyone who wanted a job would have one. That would have put us in a whole lot better position in a Global Economy, in my opinion!

So why do we continue? Our chief export is munitions, that's why! We supply the world with weapons, explosives, missiles, fighter jets, and the kids to die on the battlefields. We consume the biggest share of the world's oil while places like China pollute with coal. Eventually, they'll beat us in alternative energy, too, as they are beginning to take the environment serious. China is now home of the fastest high-speed rail at 470 mph! Florida’s brilliant new crook of a governor nixed the high-speed rail for our state. Countries in Europe already are running on alternative energy. Brazil, too, is ahead of us in alternative fuel sources. So where do we go from here? Off the edge of the cliff unless the nation as a whole develops the mindset of Wisconsin and Ohio. It's sure worth thinking about.


 **Susan Haley is the published author of three books, several articles on networking, an award-winning poet, contract copy editor, and book reviewer for AME Marketing. She is a columnist for The Florida Writer the official magazine of the Florida Writers Association, and serves as Facilitator for the Sarasota County Chapter. She is a frequent contributor to the Fox and Quill and the Infinite Writer e-zines and the political columnist for Fabulously 40 and Beyond out of San Diego.  

The audio version of her novel Rainy Day People was awarded in the 2008 Indie Excellence National Book Awards. She also contributes a variety of editorials and excerpts of her work to various newsletters and local papers, and is Founder and Designer of a Spiritual website dedicated to Nature. Her third book, Amber Returns to Maine and Other Songs of the Soul was released in March 2010. All are available on

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Member Comments

    • +2 votes vote up vote up

      Tuliplady wrote Apr 5, 2011
    • I don’t always agree with you Susan, but you always make a good point.  I totally agree that those people in Washington are not doing their jobs.  

      If you or I or any other normal person was A YEAR BEHIND in doing our job, we’d be fired on the spot.  These clowns need to be held accountable for what they are doing, or in this case, not doing.

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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Susan Haley wrote Apr 5, 2011
    • Hi Tulip and Annie. :)

      First, I have to make an apology and a correction in my earlier post. I misunderstood the Wisconsin election today. It was NOT the recall election for the state senator, which was approved when it received the required signatures on petition. The vote being held today was for the judicial seat on the state supreme court. I’m not totally familiar with what preceeded this election as I was still in rehab and totally out of it. :) Now, I’ll have to research it. I apologize for the error in my column.

      Tulip, I’m glad you always see a ‘point’ in my rants. :) I don’t expect ever, that everyone would agree with every thing I say. I don’t think I’d even want that or how would I learn if never challenged? Please don’t hesitate to tell me when you don’t agree with me and why. That’s always good for a discussion.

      Isn’t that right, Annie? :) We’ve had a few, haven’t we? You make a good point yourself! I don’t like labels either, especially religious labels. I get confused when the politicans who yap about rights, freedoms and the Constitution are also the ones who keep trying to bring morality and religious beliefs into the secular world of government. Separation of church and state is promised in that document to ALL people.

      Of course, middle class people work, or did work when there were jobs! The labels are confusing because in this case, they are synonomous. Yet, a lot of poor people also work but they are under employed, only working part time or not working because they’ve lost their job and they can’t find another one that will secure what they owe! One only need look at the shocking rise in bankruptcy, foreclosures and the homeless. Not ALL of these folks are just irresponsible.  

      You know me well enough now to know that I’ve never held with freebies to the idle in a generational welfare system. In my last post I condemned unions that became just as corrupt and powerful as banks, CEO’s and politicans. They made ridiculous demands. Many of which actually hindered the workers. But, these were labor unions and the unions getting attention today are unions for the public sector workers.
      State and local employees have already taken pay cuts and benefit cuts. They sure have in my county. Law Enforcement, Fire Departments and teachers have faced lay offs. Those on Social Security haven’t had a COLA in two years and supplemental insurance premiums have continued to rise. Property taxes and homeowners insurance are what hurts the ‘middle class’ seniors who do have mortgage free homes. The more the states have to pay out due to Federal cuts, the more the local taxes rise or the more services are cut. State and local governments are required by law to have balanced budgets.
      I still have to work at home writing and editing. I can’t live on my pittance of Widow Benefits! My husband didn’t live to collect one penny of his Social Security. When I turned 60, I started receiving a reduced amount ‘til I apply for my own. Which I may do this year after enduring two months of incarceration in a hospital and rehab. The energy is waning now.

      I definitely agree with you that the salaries of professional athletes are way beyond reasonable. I’ve often questioned that myself. I know nothing about professional sports unions. Yet, the owners are making record profits, too. How? Stadiums continue to be filled. The people indulge in the games and buy the advertiser’s products. I sure can’t and don’t know any family who can afford to take a couple of kids to the ball park anymore. If they‘re doing so, I’d bet the odds are good they are putting it on plastic and paying $7 bucks for a burger and $4 bucks for a beer. That was what it was about five years ago when I made my last trip to the NHRA Spring Nationals. Had to give that up!

      The media? I think I rage against the media in just about every column I write. During the 2008 Campaign how many times did I plead that folks watch PBS news to get even a chance at truth without spin? :)

      I think I just heard they averted a shutdown. Have to go check that out.
      I also heard today, but haven’t checked validity yet, that all the SW planes being inspected for cracks in the fuselage are being inspected in El Salvadore! Good gracious!

      Hope all is well with you, Annie.
      April is National Poetry Month. Any of you girls poets?

      Best, Susan

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    • +2 votes vote up vote up

      Midnightmom wrote Apr 7, 2011
    • Oh, I totally agree that the Congress, etc., are not doing a job worth receiving a paycheck for! But, I keep wondering if it is all about our inept leadership in this country, why is this a glocal recession?  

      What a novel thought to have our military be brought home and put to work here to help with our own borders and infrastructure needs! I heard a while back that while the national unemployemnt rate was nine-point-something percent the unemployment rate for the returned home soldiers was about 24%.  

      If Obama does anything I would like to see him end our participation in at least half the wars we are fighting and bring our kids home and put them to work right here. Can you imagine what that would do for our economy and our kids’ futures?

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Susan Haley wrote Apr 8, 2011
    • Not to worry, Annie. I think they pulled the older planes until they could all be inspected. Once they are ‘aware’ of a problem, I think they are careful not to have them happen again. I’ll be thinking about you and wishing you a safe journey.

      You‘re absolutely right. Many middle class are only getting part time or working for minimum wage to fill the gap. Meanwhile, the government does absolutely nothing constructive. Lots going on that is very ‘fishy’ to me.

      Hope you have a good weekend.


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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote Apr 8, 2011
    • Wow and Wow and Wow!!!!!

      Interesting points from all!

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